If we’ve learned anything about Richie Finestra by now, it’s that he has an ear for talent, a knack for hustling, and a nose for uncountable kilos of cocaine. But does he really have the guts to become a narc?
As season 1’s finale opens, he’s meeting his new government contacts at a dingy jukeboxed dive bar and learning the terms of his commitment. “Galasso’s killed people for a lot less than what you’re about to do,” the agent assigned to his case reminds him helpfully. Richie asks, not illogically, whether he’ll have any kind of protection. “I’m your liaison,” the agent replies. “Not your bodyguard.”
“Your roll as an informer is to inform,” The D.A. adds. “Not to get involved, not to entrap, not to play Columbo. You hear something, you tell us.” In the meantime, they tell him, he just needs to go about his life, do his thing, and act natural. Cakewalk!
Meanwhile the ever-intrepid Clark, American Century’s junior-A&R guy-turned-mailroom-punching-bag-turned-possible-A&R-guy-again, is still busy spreading that Indigo dance record around the clubs and sweetening the deal a little each time with cash and/or magic Peruvian powder for every DJ. But it’s not just party favors that are getting the track into higher rotation; these crowds are into it.
That spontaneous threesome last week between Jamie Vine, Nasty Bits frontman Kip, and guitarist Otto (James Doyle Smith) is paying some unhappy dividends in band practice. “What are you doing?” Jamie hisses at Kip when he won’t stop needling Otto. “You’ve been acting like a little bitch for days with your passive-aggressive bullshit.” He needs to get it together, she says, and stop acting so jealous. “We’re opening for the Dolls in 24 f—in’ hours,” he spits back. “Do you think I give a s— about which band member’s c–k you sucked?” Clearly he does, but this isn’t getting resolved today either way.
Zak (Ray Romano) pays a solo visit to Galasso and takes a while to finally get out what he came to say: “Richie’s a drug addict,” he tells him, “and a compulsive liar.” “Hand in glove,” Galasso replies serenely. “Creeps up here will sell their mothers for a shot of junk.” But Zak keeps going, and after a few awkward stabs at explaining a Godfather reference, he finally reveals the reason he’s there: The company contract has a morality clause, which means Richie — gambler, druggie, bad dad, and general liability — could technically be expelled. But the other partners need to join in the vote; Zak can’t do it alone. Galasso is unfailingly polite and pleasant in response, which is way more terrifying than when he’s got a phone cord wrapped around his hand: If he’s clocking anything here, it’s this display of disloyalty.
Back at the office, the guys are all impressed-slash-confused that this old Indigo record is suddenly climbing the charts when Maury approaches Richie with a problem — that Nasty Bits song is based on a track Lester recorded a decade ago on his old contract, and they can’t use it without his permission. You’d think Lester, being the Bits’ manager and having already allowed them to press it, would go for it, but obviously he’s got a history with Maury & Co. that could easily complicate things, so Maury suggests bringing in a little additional muscle if it’s needed.
NEXT: Galasso wants his money back